dating

You're more likely to survive a plane crash than make a long distance relationship work.

“Our relationship survived a gender transition… but not long-distance.”

Morgan Givens’ gender reassignment was survivable, and something that strengthened his relationship with his girlfriend. Her moving to Vermont was not.

Long-distance is tough. No matter how strong, solid, seemingly secure the relationship has been previously, when your relationship is stretched between cities or countries, it can very easily snap completely.

Fuelled by Skype, plane trips and longing phone calls across time zones, figures show around 40% of long-distance relationships will break-up. And the average time before this break-up is around 4.5 months.

And, it doesn’t get any better when you close that distance. A 2006 study found one third of long-distance relationships ended after closing the gap, and moving closer to one another. Things like a loss of autonomy, conflict, jealousy and a tough reality check were to blame. Apparently, distance can make the heart grow stronger, but the idealisation that comes with this dies when you are sitting by yourself night after night wondering if they are sitting by themselves or out with that workmate they keep talking about.

So, with these stats in mind we look to the true possibility of long-distance relationships actually working. The results are…. eye opening.

What are the chances?

You’re more likely to survive a plane crash than make a long-distance relationship work.

Between 1983 and 2000, there were 53,487 people on-board planes that crashed – 51,207 of these passengers survived. Your odds of survival? 95.74%. 

You’re more likely to be shot by a gun AND SURVIVE, than making your long-distance relationship work.

Of possible places on the body to be shot, 80% of targets are not fatal. For every one bullet that kills, 20 other shots might not.

The chances of being hit by lightening are thankfully extremely slim (even more so than making a long-distance relationship work), but the chances of surviving a lightening strike are greater than making said relationship work.

Only one in 10 people who are struck by lightening will be killed by the strike. In comparison, four in 10 long-distance relationships fail.

And there’s more…

You have a greater chance of sharing your birthday with someone in a crowd of 25, than you do of making it through a long-distance relationship.

There’s similar odds that your job will be taken over by a robot by 2025, than there is of you ending it with your long-distance partner. Pretty high.

Horrifyingly, Donald Trump is more likely to win the Republican nomination for U.S. presidency, than you do of making your long-distance relationship work.

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So, why are the chances so slim?

Obviously, there is, well… the distance. And with this comes the reality of not being involved in your partner’s everyday life. You don’t know what they’re eating for breakfast, how they get to work, the people or the places they ‘re seeing day-to-day, etc.

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There’s the stress that comes with finding a solution. Maybe circumstances mean you cannot move there. Maybe you don’t want to be in that city. But what’s going to happen? When can you be together again? The stress that comes with pushing for a solution can be just as detrimental as the listlessness that comes with not pushing for a solution.

“I think it can’t be sustainable long term unless there’s a solid plan in place to resolve the distance,” – Amy, 34.

There’s temptation and the ability to act on that temptation without getting caught.

“I’ve done it before, between Australia and London, and London and New York. Mine was all good, till I found out he got another woman pregnant… It was so brutal,” – Claire, 29.

There is also the ‘idealisation’ talked about above. You really miss that person. In your mind this difficult situation is mitigated by the fact that they are a beautiful person, a loving partner, an incredible lover. You have a strong relationship, and you have gone through a lot together. You’re even doing long-distance. But what happens when you see that person? And spend time with them again? Is the reality going to live up to these expectations?

Maybe it’s not so much about the distance itself, as what that distance makes you face.

“It’s like you have to address all the possible problems of an entire relationship within a short amount of time, when they come to visit you on weekends, for example. This makes your precious together-time very stressful and emotional,” – Georgia, 27.

“It can amplify any underlying issues or worries either person has. So if you have even a flicker of jealousy or uncertainty, that can really be drawn out,” – Isabella, 31.

“I can totally see how it strengthens a relationship, but for mine it just magnified the cracks and the trust issues,” – Aimee, 24.

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Beating the odds…

So, what’s the main piece of advice from these women who have beaten the odds and made their long-distance relationship work?

You need to be able to talk through issues because kissing and making up is never an option.

Regular face-to-face communication (Skype practically everyday) seems to be key.

You BOTH have to be committed to making it happen.

ALWAYS have a date of when you will next meet, no matter how far away that is. It gives you a goal and something to look forward to.

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